Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What do you want, blood izit

So I open some mail and a cashline statement pops out from one of our local banks. This must be one of the few statements they issue where they actually owe the customer money instead of the other way around. I borrowed a small sum from them some time ago, and in my enthusiasm to make sure I am debt free (except for the house loan, the car loan and the illegal moneylenders pounding my door down every night) I overpaid them by S$50.

Usually one would be happy to see such statements but I was furious. Dammit. What do I have to do to close the damn cashline account. A month ago, I called them to say that I'd like the account closed. You don't want to borrow our money? they asked. No, I don't. I don't need to borrow your money. Plus your interest rates are too high.

Well okay then. You hafta head down to our bank branch to close the account and sign the forms personally. Never mind that I can get the loan approved within 1 hour by sending the bank an sms. If I want to close the loan account after paying off the loan, I have to haul ass to the bank branch and sign the forms in person. I'm sure the irony of the situation has escaped the bank completely.

So I take an extra 20 minutes over lunch hour to queue up and get the forms signed. Strangely enough, the procedure to close the account is so little used that 2 officers need to confer and discuss. Then they tell me it cannot be done through this branch. A red haze descends over my vision, and by the time it clears, the forms have been signed and acknowledged by a senior officer and I am leaving the bank.

The next day, on my way to work, I get a call on the mobile, from a bank officer. We see you want to close the cashline account, she says. Can you please reconsider because blah blah blah blah. I told her no way, just close the account - I have already signed the forms. Okay, she says reluctantly.

This is 1 month ago.

Now I receive a statement in respect of that stupid account, which means IT IS STILL OPEN. WTF do I have to do to convince these people that I WANT TO CLOSE IT. Why can't I get anything done with the bank without having to tear someone's backside open, I'd like to know. I do this enough during my working hours, why do I have to do it after hours as well. Reluctantly I get on the phone, call their phone banking line and tear some backside. Told them I will hold the bank completely liable if there is any drawdown on the account whatsoever after the date of my account closure form. They said they could close it and call me the day after to confirm it has been done.

Day after. No call.

Called them again yesterday evening. The officer on the phone confirms in a bright cheery voice that my cashline account is still open, and is surprised that I am so upset. We cannot close it so fast, she says. You only gave us instructions to close it yesterday. I wonder if my next statement surprised her. I promised to write to MAS to notify them that their bank is providing unsolicited loans to customers who have clearly indicated their preference not to obtain such loans, if I did not receive their confirmatory call by tomorrow morning.

Yeah, so I got my call this morning, first thing, on the mobile. We need a week, they said. We cannot do it so fast. Your instructions were only given to us 2 nights ago. You would think that to close my damned cashline account, they have to go and kill Godzilla or something. Or go on some Godforsaken journey like Ulyssus, slay Medusa and bring back her head without turning to stone. How amazing is it that this will only take 1 week. You must be some kind of miracle worker, Mr Bank Officer.

The next piece of mail I opened was a newsletter from the same bank. Pulling it out of the envelope, I sliced my wrist open in 2 places thereby proving the point that sometimes nothing less than blood will do.


At 12:53 PM, Blogger tazie said...

you should write to MAS and complain! it's just ridiculous. it's just an account cloing and you don't even have an outstanding loan.

and while you are drafting a letter to MAS, maybe you should write to ST forum as well. make the PR do some work!

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Indiana said...

"Attack Smoot!", bring down the bad publicity god and let the red-haze descend.

I can't wait to see the outcome of this.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. And I thought the way we (typical slow-poke non-profit organisation) were slow.

~ xena

At 7:19 PM, Blogger chew said...

We are talking the ultimate in customer retention here. They must be doing something so right that it is wrong.

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous (^(oO)^) said...

Bureaucracy :D

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous moniebaloney said...

No, what they really want is a pound of flesh..get with the program,girl. You should join facebook...I'll send you an invite and we can chat there...

At 11:45 PM, Blogger valkyrie said...

hmm.. some nice bank peeps came to our office today to entice us with platinum cards, low interest rates and free creditlines...

perhaps i shouldn't have dunnit.

the priority taxi thing got me.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger PC said...

Some banks have the strategy to make it difficult to close off your unsecured lines. Make it difficult enough, and you may think "what the heck". Hopefully someday, you'll find yourself in need of cash, and voila, what do you have? A spare cashline account.... conveniently there for you.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger The Mama said...

a bit kua chiong mah

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear All,

Please surf by

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Screw the bank, take my deposit, still dare to charge me $2!

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